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Ed's Afghan Abyss


Ed_Haynes
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Among my other minor areas, I collect and try to study the awards of Afghanistan, from the earliest awards to the present, though with a special interest in the awards of the People's Democratic Republic of Afghanistan (roughly 1978-92).

Studying and collecting these things is immensely difficult and almost no reliable sources exist.

I'll post a few things from the kingdom, the republic(s), and some unknown items.

No good source exists for the kingdom, though one has been rumored for some time, for the PDRA ("Soviet") period, we have only State Awards of Afghanistan, by G. Tisov and V. Shirshov (Moscow: ca. 1998). The Tislov and Shirshov is (1) in Russian, (2) only addresses military awards, and (3) just 72 pages, but it is, so far, all we have. What fun! :banger:

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Kingdom

Nishan-i-Istiqlal / Order of Independence

Breast star of (??) 2nd class. The order came in seven classes (created 1911, obsolete with the 1974 revolution). It seems the center part has been repaired if not outright replaced. The badge is 87 mm.

Edited by Ed_Haynes
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Kingdom

Nishan-i-Lmar-i-Ala / Order of the Sun

Founded in 1920 and obsolete in 1974. It came in seven classes and two medals. This is believed to be the third class (numbered "3" on obverse). Interestingly, it is numbered on the reverse. The badge is 80 mm.

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Kingdom

Kabul 1880 Medal

I have seen references that a medal was issued in 1880 to the defenders of Kabul against the British attack in the Second Afghan War. I have never seen it illustrated, but I think this may be it. The medal is 30 mm. This specimen is (obviously) badly worn.

Edited by Ed_Haynes
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Hi Ed:

While I don't have much to add constructively, I would like to say thank you very much for showing these medals. As a kindred spirit in the realm of "studying the unstudied", I can share in your enthusiasm for these obscure medals. I still have one Afghan decoration from the Barakzai period that I have absolutely no clue what it is.

Cheers,

Eric

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Kingdom

Kabul 1880 Medal

I have seen references that a medal was issued in 1880 to the defenders of Kabul against the British attack in the Second Afghan War. I have never seen it illustrated, but I think this may be it. The medal is 30 mm. This specimen is (obviously) badly worn.

This is fascinating! Just as the "Tommies" were surprised that the Afghan Army - as opposed to the tribal "badmashes" - wore uniforms, marched in line, etc., I'm ashamed to say I was surprised that the Afghan government (Nur Shah?) issued medals.

I suppose I thought of it as a European custom plus, of course, a little latent racism showing through. Thanks for the eye-opener, Ed!

Peter

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Ed - Kingdom stuff is very interesting...

I wonder, somewhat aloud, about some of the orders. I saw exemplars of all of the medals you show while I was in Afghanistan - none were generally more than 20.00 US. I was always told these were locally produced medals - hence their low price. And then there were those produced by European manufacturers. The quality on the later is much better.

Have you also run across this in collecting Afghan orders and medals, specifically for the Kingdom period?

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Ed - Kingdom stuff is very interesting...

I wonder, somewhat aloud, about some of the orders. I saw exemplars of all of the medals you show while I was in Afghanistan - none were generally more than 20.00 US. I was always told these were locally produced medals - hence their low price. And then there were those produced by European manufacturers. The quality on the later is much better.

Have you also run across this in collecting Afghan orders and medals, specifically for the Kingdom period?

Ansolutely! The higher classes of the Kingdom awards (especially in the 1930s and again in the 1950s-60s), were European made or Indian made, but most other stuff was locally produced. Will be posting more, kingdom, republic, and PDRA.

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Kingdom

Loya Jirgah 1343 Medal

Awarded for the 1965 (C.E.) Loya Jirgah. A Loya Jirgah is a large tribal assembly to approve or make policy; the term can, perhaps, be glossed as "parliament". The legend makes that much clear. Beyond that, . . . ???

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OK, a momentary break from the medals of the kingdom.

Republic

Medal for the Foundation of the Republic, 1973

One of the few medals of the short-lived republic, July 1973 to April 1978.

Edited by Ed_Haynes
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But things were soon to change . . .

People's Democratic Republic

Order of the Red Banner

Established 24 December 1980. Roughly equivalent to the Soviet award of the same name. The award presumably became obsolete with the collapse of the PDRA in 1992.

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People's Democratic Republic

Order of Gallantry

Awarded for gallantry, roughly equivalent to the Soviet Order of the Red Star (as the design might suggest?).

Established 29 October 1985. The award presumably became obsolete with the collapse of the PDRA in 1992.

These came in two varieties, (1) 1985-87, with an open book as part of the central design (shown below), and (2) 1987-92, without the book (which I don't have -- yet).

Numbered 1247 on reverse.

Edited by Ed_Haynes
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